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tv   Election 2017 - Scottish Leaders Debate  BBC News  May 21, 2017 7:30pm-9:01pm BST

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debate ahead of the upcoming general election on june 8th. stand—by, curtains up. three weeks to go until the general election the leaders of scotland's parties face the electorate. welcome to the scottish debate. good evening. welcome to mansfield in edinburgh, where over the next 90 minutes we will explore some of the major issues in this election, with the help of our invited audience, and our panel. 0n the help of our invited audience, and our panel. on day for the snp we
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had scotland's first minister, nicola sturgeon. for the scottish conservatives, ruth davidson. for the scottish labour party, kezia dugdale. representing the scottish liberal democrats, willie rennie. this ukip david coburn and for the scottish greens, patrick harvie. applause we also want all of you to join in at home. you can argue along with the debate using social media. the hashtag is leaders debate. we will come back shortly and take opening state m e nts come back shortly and take opening statements from all of our panel, but first jackie bird statements from all of our panel, but firstjackie bird is statements from all of our panel, but first jackie bird is with the watching press. thank you. from the majesty of the debating hall to be more modest surroundings of the press room or the so—called spin room. it's here that the journalists and bloggers and party politicians will be scrutinising the performances of their party leaders and crafting tamara's headlines. i feel a their party leaders and crafting tamara's headlines. ifeel a bit
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like the headteacher. i will be gauging their reaction and quizzing the commentators through the programme. first to our political editor brian taylor. debates like this are still pretty new in the uk. how much can they influence what happens at the ballot box?m how much can they influence what happens at the ballot box? if you look at it this way, we are in the middle of manifesto season, the parties are putting out lists of policies. if you like, the election at one level is about voters choosing from those list of policies. that is a tick box, like ordering a book online. elections and politics are about far more than that. they are about the unforeseen, the unexpected and coping with the unforeseen and unexpected. that ta kes unforeseen and unexpected. that takes leadership and character. in a way, tv debates get to the root of that, the offer of character and the offer of leadership, the offer of confidence that those politicians and parties are able to cope with. what they can't foresee but what might arise. how will the politicians have prepared? in two
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ways, attack and defence. defending what they might expect their opponents will see as weak points in their own armoury, weaknesses in their own armoury, weaknesses in their policy framework but i'm sure they will have also prepared attack lines are having a go at their rivals, wounding them and bringing them down. it is gladder tutorial. we look forward to it. fingers poised over many keyboards. das mag it is gladiatorial. we will have a look later at how the headlines my mac. we will begin with the opening statements. we have asked all of the party leaders to prepare one and hold them strictly they only have 45 seconds to do it. first up, leader of the snp, nicola sturgeon. 0n the 8th ofjune you will elect mps to represent scotland at westminster. you can choose mps who will do what theresa may once or snp mps who will stand up for scotland. in the years ahead it will be vital to have strong voices for scotland at westminster. mps who will keep a
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tory government in check. a tory government that we know from long experience, will not had scotland's best interests at heart. a vote for the snp will back our plan to end the snp will back our plan to end the tory cuts that are holding our economy back, is damaging our public services and pushing more people into poverty. a vote for the snp will strengthen scotland's and againstan will strengthen scotland's and against an extreme brexit and will protect scotland's right to make our own decisions. now, more than ever, it is vital to have strong snp voices standing up for scotland. nicola sturgeon, thank you very much for that. applause next we have kezia dugdale, leader of the scottish labour party. i voted to remain in the european union and against independence. like hundreds of thousands of you. but what we have this had brexit and the snp hell— bent on
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what we have this had brexit and the snp hell—bent on a second independence referendum. you are worried about yourjob, about your family's finances, their future and the rising cost of living. i want a labour government. the tories will be back and there will be more destructive than ever before. so who do you want to stand up to the tories? labour mps who understand your life, because they've lived it? 0r your life, because they've lived it? orsnp your life, because they've lived it? 0rsnp mps who your life, because they've lived it? 0r snp mps who will use every bit of tory cruelty to exploit the case for independence? you can reject the tories and a second independence referendum by voting labour on the 8th ofjune. kezia dugdale, thank you. applause now let's hear from the scottish conservative leader, ruth davidson. thank you. this election offers a major opportunity for scotland, giving us to move on from the divisions of the past and face the challenges ahead together. improving scotland's schools, boosting our economy and getting the best deal possible as we leave the european union. i say, we can meet those
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challenges but we can't do it if we're divided. nicola sturgeon said she is putting independence at the heart of hercampaign. she is putting independence at the heart of her campaign. i said, enough. fix our schools, don't split up enough. fix our schools, don't split up our country. champion our business, don't put a boarder at berwick. at this election we can send the snp a message they can't ignore, and with your help, we can stop them, and in so doing we can get back to the issues that really matter. thank you. ruth davidson, thank you. applause now going to invite the scottish liberal democrat leader willie rennie to give his opening statement. this is a chance to change the direction of the country, to build a brighterfuture, to direction of the country, to build a brighter future, to turn away from another divisive independence referendum and a damaging hard brexit. instead, with our modest penny on tax we can invest in our people. to get scottish education back to the best in the world again. so that people can have the skills
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to drive our economy. to get people the mental health treatment that they need, so that they can contribute as well. in so many seats across the country, it is a straight choice between the liberal democrats and the snp. we can win those seats. we can change the direction of the country. we can have that brighter future. willie rennie, thank you very much. applause now it is the turn of ukip's leader in scotland, david coburn. ukip is the party brexit. we must elect ukip to the commons to ensure brexit means exit. ukip wants to expand the economy by creating new and exciting free trade agreements with growing economies around the world. this is the only —— any possible for out of the eu single market. trust us to bring us out of
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the eu and brighouse on to scotland and england. tories, labour, snp and the greens all remain as macro and got it wrong. ukip want sovereignty over british laws to british hands. ukip isa over british laws to british hands. ukip is a party of the british union. we are completely opposed to a second scottish independence referendum. taxes in scotland should be no higher than the rest of the uk. if possible, make them lower. we must be able to compete. scotland has decided, we voted to remain british and british we remain. thank you. thank you, david coburn. applause and finally, for the scottish greens, patrick harvie. thank you, sarah. scotland needs a green voice at westminster. we have achieved a huge number of social and environmental protections in europe. this will be in the hands of a hard right tory government hell—bent on a bonfire of the regulations, that will literally put people's lives on the line. we also need to oppose
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their cuts agenda, it's destroying people's lives but it's also a failure to invest in the sustainable future our economy needs. all these other parties have voted for subsidies and tax breaks to the big polluters. we need to be investing and have a plan to invest in generating over 200,000 newjobs in the sustainable economy. finally, we need a social security system worthy of the name, based on a universal basic income. that will enable eve ryo ne basic income. that will enable everyone to live dignity, free from the pierfear of everyone to live dignity, free from the pier fear of poverty. everyone to live dignity, free from the pierfear of poverty. everyone has a right to that decent future and greens will stand up for that if you put the first green voice of scotla nd you put the first green voice of scotland into westminster. applause thank you very much patrick harvie and to all of our panellists for that. let's pick up on some of what you had to say. everyone mentioned brexit, unsurprisingly. nicola sturgeon, you were warning of an extreme brexit. you know a million
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scots voted to leave the european union. you talk about trying to stay in the eu single market. should people who voted for brexit not vote snp at this election?” people who voted for brexit not vote snp at this election? i think whether people voted leave or remain at the eu referendum, at this election they should vote snp for the reason it will strengthen scotland's hand in this brexit negotiations. we know that the tories are now no longerjust pursuing brexit. they are in hock to ukip, so they are now pursuing the most extreme form of brexit. we also know that will put tens of thousands of scottish jobs on the line, it will lower scottish living standards, it will make it harder for our produce and exports to get to market. so however you voted last year, if you want to make sure that scotland's voice can't be ignored in these negotiations and strengthen this scottish hand so that we can make sure scottish interests are absolutely at the heart of the talks over the next few months. how does a vote for the do that? snp theresa
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may has dismissed the plan for keeping scotland in a single market and said there is no seat at the negotiating table for you. how will the assembly change that? this election gives us the opportunity to send a message to theresa may that says scotland will not be ignored in these talks. as you rightly say, we put forward compromise proposals, proposals that would have accepted that scotland, with the rest of the uk, was leaving the eu but that would have kept us in the single market. stayed within the single market. stayed within the single market is so important to jobs and to investment and to living standards in scotland. that's why the week after the referendum, ruth davidson in the scottish parliament challenged me to do everything i could to protect our place in the single market. unfortunately she now no longer supports our place in the single market. my message, however people voted last year in the referendum, strengthen my hand to make sure scotland's voice is heard and proposals to protect scottish jobs are at the centre of these negotiations. let's not allowed jobs
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and our economy to be sacrificed on the altar of a tory party trying to curry favour with ukip voters. ruth davidson, you were a passionate remainer in the referendum and after the referendum result you said you wa nted the referendum result you said you wanted the uk to stay in the eu single market. have you changed your mind about that? the reason for that isi mind about that? the reason for that is i want scottish businesses to be able to trade freely abroad. we have heard the prime minister's plan of how she will conduct brexit negotiations that include a free trade deal with the other 27. we can quibble about the framework that as long as scottish businesses have free access to that, i'm on board with that. i can't honestly believe what i'm hearing from my right hand side. nicola sturgeon, the very morning the brexit result was announced, said she had already instructed civil servants in scotland to draw up civil servants in scotland to draw up the necessary legislation for an independence referendum. she says if you voted for or against leave or remain, alli you voted for or against leave or
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remain, all i have seen his/her ignoring the votes of levers and taking remain votes. this is a serious issue and we need serious people run the table. there will only be two people leading this negotiation, it will be theresa may orjeremy corbyn. negotiation, it will be theresa may or jeremy corbyn. that is negotiation, it will be theresa may orjeremy corbyn. that is alive. ruth davidson said in an interview, i think the bbc, if she would take pa rt i think the bbc, if she would take part in these negotiations, she said scotland's voice should be represented by the scottish government. the first minister should play her full part. it seems to me ruth davidson started out opposing brexit but then saying we should stay in the single market. now she opposes staying in the single market. she used a sake we should have a seat at the negotiating table and now she has changed her mind. it seems to me ruth davidson does everything theresa may tells her to do, which is why we need strong snp voices at westminster. applause nicola sturgeon says she wants a seat at the brexit table, but she wa nt seat at the brexit table, but she
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want scotland to be out of the uk and into europe. i asked want scotland to be out of the uk and into europe. iasked myself want scotland to be out of the uk and into europe. i asked myself over which side of the table does she wa nt which side of the table does she want to be sat on? when it comes to withhold it and talking about what we want to achieve here, the issue, this compromise agreement she said she wanted to put on the table would have ended the uk internal market. that's why it was rejected. you can't have half of the state in the eu single market and the other half... this is studded up the uk market is worth four times more in trade and five times more in terms of... if you talk over each other nobody can hear you. we heard from you, first minister. kezia dugdale, you're campaigning forjeremy corbyn to be elected prime minister in less than three weeks' time. do you think it was —— if it was him in brussels negotiating brexit it would be better than theresa may?|j negotiating brexit it would be better than theresa may? i want a labour government and labour prime minister but i can't let these two get away with what they're saying about price cut. brexit isjust the excuse the first minister was looking for to have a second
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independence referendum. after the eu referendum she told us if we had a referendum, scotland would get to stay in the european union. now she tells us we might have to reapply or she might settle for the norwegian option. she doesn't about this. she's all over the place. whatever gets us independence is the one thing she will go for at the end of the day. applause moderator: let's takes some questions from the audience. the gentleman in the checked shirt appear. i just gentleman in the checked shirt appear. ijust wish ruth would learn to differentiate between access to the single market and being part of the single market and being part of the single market and being part of the single market. north korea has access to the single market. it's not the same thing. there is a gentleman in a greyjacketjust here, microphone will be with you a moment. we will take a point from this gentleman in the third row. the only national party in my opinion
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back can take on the tories against ha rd back can take on the tories against hard brexit is in fact the labour party. the scottish, no matter how many seats the scottish nationalist party in scotland there will still be —— they will still be a small party in westminster and the only party in westminster and the only party back can take on the tories, therefore, is the labour party and therefore, is the labour party and thejeremy therefore, is the labour party and the jeremy corbyn. let's ta ke the jeremy corbyn. let's take one more contribution from the back row but there is a gentle man in a shirt and tie in the back row. we voted to stay in europe, however there wasn't that much information going around that we really debated because a lot of people just had a one—sided argument. now the vote has been completed i think england would vote to go the other way if they have the opportunity. do you think they should have the opportunity before the end? that leads as neatly onto the end? that leads as neatly onto the leader of the scottish democrats willie rennie because it is your policy to have another referendum but there are a lot of people, even those who voted remain, and say that
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looks like being sore losers, you can't have another referendum if you don't like the results. what we are seeing is because it is such a monumental decision of the british people should have the final say on whatever deal is agreed between the government and the european union, because this could have quite a dramatic impact on our security, jobs and environment, even on funding for the nhs. it would be reasonable for the british people to decide rather than a small number of conservatives accepting whether it isa conservatives accepting whether it is a deal that is good enough for the united kingdom. i think the british people should have the option to reject a bad deal. i think thatis option to reject a bad deal. i think that is reasonable. we started this process in a democratic way, we should finish it in a democratic way. applause david coburn, for ukip. you said in your opening statement it was important to elect ukip mps, or maybe even one ukip mp, to make sure
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that brexit happens the wake you like it. what do you not like about theresa may's plans as we currently understand them? let's be frank, theresa may and ruth davidson were both remainers and the tory party wanted to remain within the european union. ukip need to be there to make sure that that happens, and only if you've got ukip there can you be sure that that will happen. everything you've heard the prime minister says it is the eu referendum which laid out the terms for the brexit negotiations, including leaving the single market and ending freedom of movement, what do you disagree from that? first of all today the talk about perhaps extending the fishing limits. we wa nt extending the fishing limits. we want a 200 mile limit, they are still talking about 25 miles. we don't want that, we want the full fishing limits for scotland. that's a big business and we need that money and we need that for employment. they are flimflam in about this because they have put a
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lot of stress on them and they've started putting a lot of debate on it but ukip need to be there to make sure that happens. will also need to be there to make sure we get out of the single european market. the only way we can get our owfi the single european market. the only way we can get our own trade deals is to be out of it. then we can go around the world getting our deals with other countries without having to differ to 27 other countries and that will bring jobs to scotland and that will bring jobs to scotland and thatis that will bring jobs to scotland and that is absolutely essential. thank you for that. let's bring in the co—convener of the scottish greens, do you think it's feasible scotla nd greens, do you think it's feasible scotland could still stay in the single market and still be part of the uk? various people have explored options for that. if the uk government had showed any willingness at all to even negotiate or explore what the options might be and how they could be put into effect we might be having a very different debate. what's going to happen after this uk parliamentary election is a process by which uk tory ministers want to take the power to rewrite huge swathes of the
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laws of these lands without proper parliamentary scrutiny. many of them arguing for that bonfire of the regulations. even some of the actions our councils take trying to look after the quality of our air, some of the most polluted air in europe is in scottish cities and those european laws, many of the tories are arguing to abandon those. when we talk about access to the single market as well you will hear the tories only saying access for big business, access for business to trade. the single market is so much more than that, it's one of our rights, right of free movement, it's the legal protections, social, environmental and workplace protections and if you look at some of the free trade deals that all these people are talking about around the world, so many of them have bedded into them the ability for big corporate interests to sue governments for having the nerve to try to protect their citizens. that is not an agenda that will benefit scotland or the rest of these islands. applause moderator: thank you. let's go back
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to our audience and see what they made of that. the gentleman in the front row. you've got to combine the thoughts about the free market with free movement. i can't understand how we can cope with cutting out free movement. how is the nhs, the universities, the service industries, the farmers — how are they going to manage without free movement of people? applause moderator: ruth davidson, the conservatives have committed again in the manifesto to keeping immigration to the tens of thousands. how is that going to work for the economy, particularly the scottish economy which needs immigration? first of all to answer the question the gentleman raises,
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the question the gentleman raises, the situation in the health service predates by a long way the vote that we took last year. for example, the royal college of nursing said between 2009 and 2012 the 20% cuts to nursing training placements which happened while nicola sturgeon was health minister, the cut in doctors places have really affected us and will go on to affect us for many yea rs will go on to affect us for many years to come. to be fair to the scottish government they try to recruit more gps of them —— last year. this isn't a eu problem, it is a problem made in scotland. there is a problem made in scotland. there is a specific policy of reducing immigration below 100,000. do you agree with that? net immigration, yes. you do agree with that, you think there are too many people immigrating to the uk at the moment and want to reduce it? we need an immigration system that is trusted and when you lose trust from people thatis and when you lose trust from people that is when you have social unrest. if you are talking about the
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difference between net immigration and emigration, for example there are currently 438,000 overseas stu d e nts are currently 438,000 overseas students in our universities but because some come in first year and leave after their degree it is not counted in the total. what i want to see is scotland to be the most attractive place so we attract the brightest and best. despite having a third of the landmass of the uk and 8.4% of the population we only attract 4% of immigrants to this country. those are uk government figures and it is true. national records for scotland's recently published the figures on inward migration to scotland, scotland has 8% of the uk population, last year we had 7% of the total oversee migrants coming to scotland, check the figures. the fact of the matter here is the proposal the tories have put forward in the manifesto, which lam put forward in the manifesto, which i am astounded to hear ruth davidson support, would be devastating for the scottish economy. immigration isn't an easy subject for politicians because people have concerns. but politicians have a duty to be honest about this. when
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we talk about migrants, when it is people from this country going overseas we talk about expats but when we talk about migrants here we are talking about people working in out are talking about people working in our hospitals, people serving us in out our hospitals, people serving us in our restaurants, we are talking about our friends and our neighbours and the language around immigration i think is shocking. now, we have a needin i think is shocking. now, we have a need in this country to grow our population. if eu migration was to be ended over the next 25 years. nobody is talking about ending it. we would see are working age population fall while our pension age population is due to go up by 50%. that would be an economic catastrophe. i think it's disgraceful we have a tory party that plays to ukip and in doing so... that plays to ukip and in doing so...i that plays to ukip and in doing so... i have always said we are a welcoming country... applause i have always said that... i have a lwa ys i have always said that... i have always said... this is the point at which... nobody can hear you when
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you are talking over each other. she is putting forward a strong delegation. stop it! stop it! you are talking over each other, letters commonly go to david coburn on the immigration reduction. cani immigration reduction. can ijust immigration reduction. can i just say we want a points—based system, the fairest way to bring in people and you can bring in people from the old commonwealth as well. it is a good idea and we baseit as well. it is a good idea and we base it on the people we need, no reason we can't bring people in if we need them but the difference of being in the european union and not is that with the european union we cannot choose, it is open—door immigration and we can't control the numbers of people coming in or who are, or if they are terrorists... let kezia dugdale have her say. let me finish. we want to have the choice to bring in the right people into our country and make sure they are good citizens and will integrate in society. david coburn, you have made your point. we should welcome them because there are 180,000 eu
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nationals in scotland today on the first thing a labour government would do is guarantee their right to stay. applause moderator: do you then... we don't wa nt to moderator: do you then... we don't want to get rid of them. we know your point, we have heard from you. david, kezia dugdale, is it the labour party's david, kezia dugdale, is it the labour pa rty‘s policy david, kezia dugdale, is it the labour party's policy to reduce immigration to the uk? we don't have a cap and we have recognised the rights of eu nationals to stay in the country because of the tremendous conjugation ben may, they work in our hospitals and businesses and many of them have worked here for years and the last thing we should do is treat them like bargaining chips, which is exactly what is happening here. —— the tremendous contribution they make. applause moderator: willie rennie. just up the road from where ruth was brought up the road from where ruth was brought up is one of the best universities in the world. now, about a fifth of
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their staff come from outside the united kingdom from the european union. about a fifth of the researchers come from the european union at crucially students as well come from the european union. what they are proposing with their extreme huybrechts it is undermining one of the best universities in the world and i'm astonished about what ruth davidson has said. last year during the referendum on europe she called borisjohnson a liar on during the referendum on europe she called boris johnson a liar on three occasions. now she's standing with him arguing foran occasions. now she's standing with him arguing for an extreme huybrechts it. she's talking about the opportunities that it presents to this country. —— hard brexit. if boris was lying then does that mean ruthis boris was lying then does that mean ruth is lying now? applause moderator: very quickly, ruth.|j will use a specific example, it is shameful he is trying to scaremonger, eu nationals living here will not have their status changed. research money and... why has it taken a year to come to that?
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it's astonishing. in the manifesto research and development money is going up. i am answering the question... research and development money is going up, in terms of students, it's part of net migration, 438,000 currently here and they don't go into the figures. you are wrong on the council you have used. i will have to move on the debate at this point. the other issue which is of course dominating this campaign is the question of whether or not there should be a second referendum on scottish independence. unsurprisingly because the election is happening only a couple of months after the scottish parliament voted in favour of having another referendum. nicola sturgeon, is this election about whether or not we should have a second referendum? is a vote for the snp saying you do want another independence referendum? this election is about whether scotland's future is decided by the scottish people in the scottish parliament ought by theresa may and her wince minster government force of our future should always be in the hands of the scottish people. i think
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scotla nd of the scottish people. i think scotland should have a choice at the end of the brexit process because the alternative to that is that we simply have to take it or leave it, or we don't get the chance to leave it, we have to like it or lump it no matter how bad the deal turns out to be, even if theresa may ends up walking away with no deal. so i believe we should have a choice and i think that's fair and democratic. but there is the other opportunity in the election, which is to give scotla nd in the election, which is to give scotland the opportunity to influence brexit negotiations. that is why i say again, no matter how you voted last year, no matter how you voted last year, no matter how you voted last year, no matter how you voted in 2014, if you want scotla nd you voted in 2014, if you want scotland to have the strongest possible voice in these negotiations vote snp and strengthen scotland's and. applause moderator: now, iunderstand applause moderator: now, i understand why... i understand you don't want to make this election on referendum on whether or not we should have another referendum but a vote for the snp is voting to say you want a second referendum. i don't think i'm
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making any secret that, i've just set out the position, it was in the snp's manifesto it is the mention tory welfare cuts or removing the pension triple lock. ruth davidson is using independent asa ruth davidson is using independent as a smoke ruth davidson is using independent as a smoke screen. ruth davidson is using independent as a smoke screen. you are making independent central to yourcampaign. if people want me to stop fighting
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independence, take your second referendum of the table. respect the result. i stood here with you on a platform like this a year ago and you look at the audience and promised people that there is no change in support for independence, there would not be another referendum. everybody can rule the new standing there saying, don't worry, it is safe to vote snp. there will be no referendum. as soon as you've got past that, you are back at it again. the country said no. you will not listen to them. we need your help to do it, but for the
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scottish conservatives, we can vote. back we will listen to the audience now. there is a lady in the background. ruth davidson said we would have to vote no to stay in the eu, things change. in the middle row here. i think it is shameful that scottish labour and the scottish conservatives are using the independence question to hide behind their actual manifestos. the chap in their actual manifestos. the chap in the blue jacket. i would like to know from the first minister how she would like to fill in the budget deficit of 15 billion that has occurred since the drop in oil. it is unexplained. i am not saying we should have independence or not, but i would like some fiscal honesty on
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the way you are running this campaign. that is a question for a different election. let's take somebody else. isn't part of the reason why the conservatives of not talking about the nhs and education because it is a devolved issue? you should be looking after our hospitals, but you are banging on about independence all the time. hospitals, but you are banging on about independence all the timelj would like to ask you both a question. do you think your perceived obsession with independent might cost you your seat in this election? i would like to ask, the nhs, you say you have ploughed millions into bed, i am a nurse, i cannot manage on my salary, i have to go to food banks, i'm struggling to go to food banks, i'm struggling to pay bills. do you know one area where any of that money has gone? i can assure you , where any of that money has gone? i
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can assure you, nurses are seeing none of it on the ground floor. we are going to get to discussing the health service later. nicola talks all the time about independence, but she is not for independence, but she is not for independence, she wants rule by europe, by european bureaucrats. she is not interested in rule by holyrood or westminster, she wants to be ruled by brussels. what she saysis to be ruled by brussels. what she says is nonsense. patrick harvie. you began by asking what is the central issue in this election, and of the many people i've been speaking to, i think at one level people are feeling pretty tired with the number of votes there have been in the last few years on the forsstrom it is made, whether it was vote no to stay in europe or vote leave to get 350 million extra for
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the nhs. i think people are understandably feeling pretty cynical all of that. but many very many of them are raising the issue is the uk government has been responsible for. whether that is cuts to the welfare and social security system, things like the family cap and the rape clause, the inequality in our society pushing up house prices, that's not something we can solve just with a building programme was that we need to provide more housing, but there's so much more about the inequality in our economy that needs to be fixed and that the uk government is responsible for making worse. as well as that, we have people struggling on poverty wages and people both in and out of work are being exploited in this incredibly unequal society. there's a huge amount that we need to change, that the uk government is responsible for andi the uk government is responsible for and i want to be putting forward positive ideas, like a universal basic income, that would make our society more equal in the first place. applause why then, patrick harvie, are you
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standing only three candidates in scotla nd standing only three candidates in scotland in this election, if you feel so passionately about what needs to be changed? is it because you don't want to split the pro—independence vote in some constituencies could you not find enough people to stand?” constituencies could you not find enough people to stand? i regret the fa ct we enough people to stand? i regret the fact we don't have more candidates to stand in this election. we are committed to our hard work in getting councillors around scotland that they had more councillors elected than ever before. right in the middle of a local election campaign, when other parties are
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trying to turn that into a proxy for the independence debate, local democracy really matters, we were committed to that. right in the middle of the campaign, theresa may in contempt for democracy, decided to call a snap election. a party like ours cannot knock on the doors of millionaires and billionaires. what we can do is knock on the doors of our target seats and we're working very hard on those. i think we have the best chance we have ever had of putting a green voice in westminster to represent scotland. applause kezia dugdale. the party manifesto is clear, you try and block a second referendum on scottish independence but the scottish parliament has voted in favour of it. how can you democratically justify voted in favour of it. how can you democraticallyjustify not voted in favour of it. how can you democratically justify not allowing it to happen? the labour party ma nifesto we it to happen? the labour party manifesto we are publishing tomorrow scotland's most clearly against independence and an independence referendum, because of the £15 billion worth of additional cuts that would, that. if you think live under the tories is bad, imagine what it would be like under independence with £15 billion of cuts yet come. i can't ask the people to vote to be poorer. my myjob is to stand up for poorer people, to stand up for the economy,
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and that's why the labour party will say no to a second independence referendum. under any circumstances? ifa referendum. under any circumstances? if a majority snp government voted in favour, you would still vote no? £15 billion worth of cuts, i cannot ask people in scotland to be poorer, i won't stand for it, i will always vote against the second independence referendum. there is an argument for saying people shouldn't be given the choice. we spent two and a half yea rs choice. we spent two and a half years debating it and we said no. people want to move on from that. cheering and applause and you said after the 2016 referendum scotland voted for both unions... i have to stop you there. sarah, it took 44 days the nicola sturgeon to publish her bill on another independence referendum. it took 15 months for them to write their mental health strategy, which is way out of date. it took two years for us to persuade them to expand nursery into education, fit
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two year olds. it took six years for us two year olds. it took six years for us to persuade them about people premium. for the us to persuade them about people premium. forthe snp us to persuade them about people premium. for the snp it's always, always independence. today brexit is the excuse, every other day it could be any excuse at all. we need to cancel this second divisive independence referendum, because it's dividing our country and setting us back. here here. applause thank you very much to our panellists for that just now. thank you very much to our panellists for thatjust now. we will be coming back for more debate here, but first we are going to head over to the press room, where jackie bird is waiting with some analysts. thank you. the journalist here aren't the only wanted something to say about the debate. you have been voicing your opinion on social media. how is it playing out? it's not a surprise to find that many of the people tweeting at home agree with the party they voted for. they asked for neutrals to get involved and i'm not sure any were
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neutrals. they had some very strong views. 0ne neutrals. they had some very strong views. one that may be some slap up i have my ipad. it says, based on my timeline every party leader has done an excellent job in timeline every party leader has done an excellentjob in opening exchanges and every other one has been terrible. there have also been a lot of interest from down south. this is the scottish leaders debate and there is one in westminster as well. someone from the spectator saying anyone who wants a decent leaders debate should watch this one, better quality of leaders and debate. thank you. talking of the spectator, we have a columnist for the spectator and a former special adviser for scottish labour. if i can ask you, much of the debate seems to have centred on differences of opinion between nicola sturgeon and ruth davidson. early on nicola sturgeon accused ruth davidson of doing what
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theresa may tells her. was that a direct it? ruth davidson is always at her most awkward, i think, when she was forced on the back foot to defend uk conservative government policy. there has been no exception to that tonight and immigration and brexit. it is an area where other parties piled into attack ruth davidson and her party. she is much stronger and happier when she can put nicola sturgeon on the back foot about plans for a second independence referendum. we saw that earlier tonight. nicola sturgeon dominated the first part of the debate, ruth, with an assist from kezia dugdale, who has been very good thus far. there are six politicians on that stage but it is the ruth and nicola show so far. all road seem to lead to the issue of indyref2. yes indeed. this election are supposed to be about brexit. that is why theresa may called it. nicola sturgeon has been accused of being obsessed with independence.
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she didn't mention it in her opening remarks. kezia dugdale did, ruth davidson did... you are a special adviser, would you have advised her not to mention indyref2 question that no, obviously indyref2 will come up in discussion. it is not what this election is about. this election is about brexit. how much did kezia dugdale, how much i she influenced the proceeding so far? not as much as i would have liked or expected. i do not think the format is doing her many favours. this is the nicola and ruth show, as we heard. kezia dugdale has three very anxious meant to compete with. david coburn are very anxious man. i think thatis coburn are very anxious man. i think that is the difficulty for her. what you also seem to die, i think, is the strategy of nicola, which was very much a core vote strategy. nothing new, quite formulaic and then get the jab into and ruth. in 2011 in the scottish election, everyone on the platform for iain
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gray was going be the beneficiary and that is happening against my, people are turning on ruth. is it working? to some extent. i think nicola is a past mistress of talking over people and getting under their skin and irritating them. i think ruth has to be careful about that and kezia dugdale needs to push away in past david coburn. lets see what happens. let's go back to the debate, round two. thank you very much for that. we are all sitting a bit more comfortably. for this portion of the show we are going to take the question is not from me but from the audience. the first question that we have is from louise perry. where does the fault lies the recent failings of numerous iain schools? first minister. the responsibility for scottish education is mine and the scottish‘s government. i make no bones about. there is much to be very positive about in scottish education, we have a new curriculum in place which has been praised by
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the oecd for the record numbers of young people coming out of school with higher passes and advanced higher passes. record numbers of young people going into university. but we have made very clear we want to raise standards in our schools even further. and we want to close the attainment gap. that's why we have a new national improvement framework. it is why we have a new attainment fund, £120 million now going directly into the hands of headteachers, to give headteachers the ability to do things that they think can help raise standards and close the attainment gap. interestingly, when not doing as the tories are planning south of the border, investing in schools by taking away free school meals. we are going to protect free school meals for primary 1—3 pupils, because that helps learning. we are also extending childcare, because of the evidence says it is better quality early years education that helps to improve attainment in schools. we absolutely focused on making sure we improve education and
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get the challenges we've got in education addressed, that's why i said, have said repeatedly, for me as first minister, it is my top priority. you've had ten years. you had ten years, you've been in charge for ten years. there is a widening gap between the richest and poorest kids, that is your record as the snp. the gap between the richest and the poorest is not widening. the gap between the richest and poorest is narrowing. that is not true, name one source is narrowing. that is not true, name one source that proves that. that's why we are investing more in education. you can't provide a source education. you can't provide a source because education. you can't provide a source because you education. you can't provide a source because you know you have just told a porky, that gap is as big as ever. university access, the gap between the richest and poorest is closing. what about in schools? she can't name it! that is a
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narrowing of the gap. we want to go further, we've been in charge for ten years, which is why i'm proud of the fact we have record exam passes in schools, we've extended early yea rs in schools, we've extended early years education and we are going further. one in five kids leaving school... people would have been having to pay to go to university if it were for you. let's go back to louise who asked the question. you asked who falls it is for the failure in literacy and numeracy in schools. whose fault do you think it is? the question was not answered, firstly. wm is? the question was not answered, firstly. will go around everyone else. the curriculum has been panned by teachers, i'm a teacher myself, i teach maths. you talk about record high and advanced higher, that will happen if you lower the standard of exams, the standard of exams is disgraceful. the national five does
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not look like national great credit. i'm only speaking about maths because that is my area. if you lower the standard of exams then you would see passes presumably rising. ok, let's take that point and go to ruth davidson. applause firstly, thank you for the question. it is astonishing to listen to the first minister of scotland wanting applause for finally getting round to cleaning up the mess her party has been in charge of creating for the last ten years. there is lots of things we need to do differently in our schools. first of all there was really good intentions behind curriculum for excellence but we have to be honest enough to say it is not working and that's way will wa nt is not working and that's way will want a full review of work and educational system. the teachers haven't got a fighting chance of teaching this. every time we fall down an international ranking the scottish government's solution to thatis scottish government's solution to that is to pull us out of doing the
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tests so we don't know how we are doing against other countries. we also have the issue where we don't have independent inspectors for our schools and we don't have enough and we are so easy schools and we don't have enough and we are so easy trying to help out because curriculum for excellence was hard to introduce so they didn't do any inspections for several years. we need to empower teachers, we need to hire more because we have 4000 fewer than when nicola sturgeon came into power, particularly in maths and the stem subjects, and a quarter of maths training places are not filled. i've repeatedly asked the first minute to get inexpensive new ways to get staff into schools, not wedded to that but there is lots more we can do. the idea nicola sturgeon is sitting here and saying it is all right, i've got this, after it fell apart on her watch is absolute disgrace. applause moderator: willie rennie. nicola is right when she talks about investing in the early years is the best investment we can make in a child's
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future. she is right when she says that we should have an attainment fund that will invest in closing that inequality gap as kezia dugdale was talking about, she's right about all of these things. but why has it taken so long? she's been in power for ten years and we have been asking her to do these things for an awful long time, many years. she denied it at first and then she accepted it. the reality is, and i have to say this, that she is so distracted by her obsession with independence that she is now letting our education system down. applause moderator: i should let the first minister come on this. the fact of the matter is there are challenges in scottish education but there are also real things to be proud of in scottish education. you've listed the achievements, the question was where does the fault line for recent failings and that's on new.” started my answer by saying that response ability for scottish
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education is mine and my government's and i've not made any bones about that. there are teacher recruitment challenges not just bones about that. there are teacher recruitment challenges notjust in scotland but many other different countries. we're looking at getting innovative different ways into getting into the teaching profession, we are investing into headteachers directly. all of these parties with the exception of the greens voted against the budget that put the extra money into the hands of teachers. we are not cutting money. yes you are. we are increasing money to schools by £120 million so we are taking the action thatis million so we are taking the action that is empowering our teachers to ta ke that is empowering our teachers to take the initiatives that would improve notjust take the initiatives that would improve not just literacy and numeracy but standards across education. we are not shying away from these challenges, we are addressing them and will continue to do so. what we find is that some of the things we bring forward that are new and innovative, and sometimes controversial. we suggested them! willie rennie opposed them so we brought in the national improvement framework and willie rennie opposed
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it every step of the way so we will continue to do the right things by parents and students across the country. let's take some contributions from our audience and then we will get to the other panellists, the gentleman in the front row. lama front row. i am a teacher foster good news for the snp and bad news. i've been teaching now, it's my fifth decade, and the problems we have started five tickets — — and the problems we have started five tickets —— decades ago. we embrace every progressive advance thrown into schools, and what we've reached now, what we are actually talking about, a fifth of primary students leave primary school without basic literacy and numeracy skills. which is not good. the other thing is you put £120 million into bridging the gap and so on. but they are not allowed to spend it on staff. i've heard of primary school teachers who can't employ permanent staff and what they are doing with
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the money, they've got loads of it, you are right, they are buying furniture because they've got to spend it. education is needing completely revamping, we need to get back to making sure our children leave primary school with basic skills, the primary teachers have to teachjust skills, the primary teachers have to teach just about everything and it's impossible for them to do the kind ofjob they need to do so they can pass the children onto the secondary sector where value will then be added. thank you very much for your contribution. applause there is a young man towards the backin there is a young man towards the back ina there is a young man towards the back in a black shirt. yes.” there is a young man towards the back in a black shirt. yes. i think one of the things the snp must be commended for is the introduction of free tuition fees for scottish students. it really has made it easier for scottish students who can't afford to go to university to have the opportunity to go and study at some of the best universities in the world. applause moderator: in our audience on the
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floor, the gentleman in the blue shirt. i'd like to make the point, free tuition fees are fairly good ideologically but in a world of restraints surely it would be better socially to provide students with the finance so they can live at university and be able to afford their rent. at the moment many of my friends at university have to rely out of necessity on a part—time job, as well as all of their bank have stomach of mum and dad to cover their accommodation costs. surely it would be better to invest in maintenance grants, increase student finance, so they can actually live at university and be able to afford to, rather than paying. there are certainly issues i think we need to focus on, the things the uk government should be doing to
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improve the pay people get, many of those students will be working in exploitative forms of work, as well as reducing housing costs and living costs people have. the question about education in scotland, about school education in scotland where we started, there is clearly a mixed picture and the snp sometimes our too ready to focus on changing government structures, or standardised testing and these kind of things, rather than the long—term resources that schools need. that's why the greens were so focused on getting them to reverse. £160 million of cuts to local councils which run our schools in scotland. but look, this is not a test of the scottish parliament. you are not about to elect msps to the scottish parliament. you are about to elect mps to westminster. and if young people in schools are turning up angry and spending their day hungry they are not going to be able to get they are not going to be able to get the best out of their education, and the best out of their education, and the uk government is pushing thousands more families deeper into
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poverty. it is transferring wealth, wealth that we all generate in our economy, from the poorest third of our society to the richest third in our society to the richest third in our society. so whatever the other actions scotland can take to mitigate that part it will not be enough unless we change the direction of uk policy and make sure we are investing for the long—term and closing the inequality gap in our society that at the moment is limiting the ability of children and young people to get the best out of the education that provided. thank you, patrick harvie. applause moderator: patrick harvie is absolutely right, education is a devolved issue that is controlled from holyrood but we had a lot of interest from our audience, and of course a lot of people cared very much about this so it will probably influence how we vote. we were being asked about free tuition fees, what is ukipper‘s policy? asked about free tuition fees, what is ukipper's policy? ukip's policy is ukipper's policy? ukip's policy is to extend free tuition to england
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as well, they should get the same privilege, it is quite right. what worries me is the scottish taxpayer are paying a lot of money for eu stu d e nts to are paying a lot of money for eu students to be educated at scottish universities, which is depriving scottish students of places at those universities. i think that's wrong. i also think that it's a disgrace that children should be coming out of school illiterate, this gentleman is right, and not functioning properly. that is absolutely wrong. when i was at school in scotland it was the finest education system in the world. we had latin and greek at the world. we had latin and greek at the age of 12. if they could do that then why not now? it might not be necessary now but they were able to. that is relevant, like fox hunting! what is wrong is you have people coming out of school not properly educated, that's absolutely wrong and that's down to this lady here who has made an absolute disaster and mincemeat of the scottish education system.
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we shall leave that therefore the moment and move on to another question, david morrison has a question, david morrison has a question for the panel. should we increase income tax to meet all social costs? moderator: willie rennie. yes, sir, i think social costs? moderator: willie rennie. yes, sir, ithink we social costs? moderator: willie rennie. yes, sir, i think we should put an modest penny on income tax to have a colossal effect on public services. on the basic rate of income tax? on the basic rate of income tax? on the basic rate of income tax, that would deliver about £500 billion for scottish society, for scottish public services, we would invested in education, nursery, schools and colleges, to have that transformational effect because scottish education, as we knew, used to be one of the best in the world and it is now being judged asjust average the world and it is now being judged as just average and that's not good because it drives our economy, a good education system, to provide the skills for our workforce, but also for our companies to create
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that economic wealth, it's that virtuous circle. so, yes i would, but i'd also make sure we invest in mental health services because mental health services because mental health services need that big step change. you know that children in this very city can wait up to two years, two years, for important mental health treatment. i think that's a disgrace, they should be getting the support now and that's why we need to invest in mental health services too. so yes, absolutely, put a modest penny on income tax to have a colossal effect on public services. applause moderator: kezia dugdale, should we increase income tax to cover social costs ? increase income tax to cover social costs? we should and the scottish parliament now powers of has income tax which matters because we are in a position to choose in scotland to do things differently from the tories. what the snp have done is ta ke tory tories. what the snp have done is take tory cuts and pass them on. it doesn't have to be this way. so yes, i think we should use the income tax powers we have. this is a general
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election, tell us what you would do with uk wide tax rates. they are devolved to the scottish parliament soaked in labour's manifesto you will see we are committed to the same tax policies from last year, 1p on the brexit great as willie rennie described and a 50p rate on the top rate of tax asking people who earn over £130,000 a year to invest in the education system. we heard from teachers earlier. i need teachers every day who have to bring in their own believe you would vote in that westminster for the rest of the uk but when you had the opportunity in scotland, you didn't? we were given advice if you just did that in scotla nd advice if you just did that in scotland without the scottish parliament having the power to tackle tax avoidance, to set the rules to stop people transferring income to capital gains, we would potentially lose money from that and nobody would set the tax rate if you knew you would lose money. that problem doesn't arise at the moment across the uk, so we support the restoration of the top rate of 50p tax. labour had the chance of a 50p top rate of tax may didn't do it
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until the last few months. 0n tax more generally, i dodig we should raise the basic rate of income tax, because one of the big issues over the next few years is the squeeze on living standards. we saw inflation rise to 2.7% the other day. we have experts say we are going to have inequality rising at the fastest rate since the days of margaret thatcher. that the lowest third in society are going to fall by 10%, because of the policies of the tory government. i dodig we should be asking low and middle income earners to pay more. but i also don't think we should be handing a massive tax cut to higher taxpayers. the tories, whilst they are freezing the value of tax credits, working tax credits and child tax credits, are still going to hand a massive tax cut to the richest people in society. i think those are the wrong priorities, and if you want mps to stand up for the right priorities in
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scotland, vote snp to make sure you get them. applause some of our audience are very keen to come in. first, ruth davidson. you probably won't hear nicola sturgeon ameobi about much today but one thing we do agree about is people are on low incomes, they shouldn't have as much of that money taken shouldn't have as much of that money ta ken away shouldn't have as much of that money taken away in tax. that's why we raised the threshold from 5500 to 12,000 500. it's why we've raised the minimum wage, brought in a new national living wage, why people at the lowest ntep the biggest pay rise in 20 years. we believe people are better at spending their own money than having the government spend it for them. the issue about tax is, yes, income taxes and business taxes paying for what we have. the reason we have a deficit is we bring in less tax than we pay out. we are adding debt to our children. we need to do it ina adding debt to our children. we need to do it in a way that is equitable and covers the costs we have in our society. nicola sturgeon raised an interesting issue. for13
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society. nicola sturgeon raised an interesting issue. for 13 years the labour party didn't have eight 50p top rate of tax and three months before they left office, they brought one in. when it was reduced to 45p in the pound, we brought in more taxes. i know it sounds counterintuitive but it is true. the issue we have in scotland is we now have diverging taxes. we have signed at gretna that's as higher taxes here. we have a contracting economy in scotland, we are one quarter away from recession and the rest of the uk's from recession and the rest of the uk's growing at 2% a year. i'm not sure is coincidence. that's absolutely true. let's take in the audience. the gentleman in the blue jumper in the second row. nicola sturgeon, your paper last year said there were additional taxpayers in scotland than your paper estimated to raised £50 million. what would that do to a budget deficit of 15 billion? that paper said we could potentially lose money if we didn't... potentially lose money if we didn't. .. it potentially lose money if we didn't... it was potentially lose money if we didn't. .. it was one of four
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options. the point of this is, ruth talks a lot of nonsense about scotla nd talks a lot of nonsense about scotland being the highest tax partner in the uk. we are not giving higher rate taxpayers a tax cut, which means they are paying not more than they payjust now but more than a counterpart in in england to about £7a a counterpart in in england to about £7 a week. that's less than the cost ofa £7 a week. that's less than the cost of a single nhs prescription. descriptions are free in scotland, you have to pay for them in england. if you have young people going to university here, you don't have to pay £27,000 of tuition fees. if you have an elderly parent needing care, you get free personal and nursing care. actually, taxpayers in scotla nd care. actually, taxpayers in scotland have the best deal of taxpayers anywhere in the uk, because of the policies of the scottish government. applause kezia dugdale. nicola sturgeon heard this woman in the front row here, this woman in the front row here, this nurse told her she has to go to
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a food bank because she doesn't have enough money. nicola sturgeon, you voted against a pay increase for nurses less than take that this man ten days ago. why wouldn't you ask richer people in society pay more taxes that nurse gets the pay rise she deserves? you voted against it. you know because of the policies of the scottish government and newly qualified nurse in scotland is paid more than a newly qualified nurse in england. a starting salary in the nhs is paid £1000 more. she can't feed her family. she nhs is paid £1000 more. she can't feed herfamily. she can't nhs is paid £1000 more. she can't feed her family. she can't feed her family. what i have also said as the pay freeze that has been in place because of tory austerity being impose... it's your fault. we have a lwa ys impose... it's your fault. we have always accepted the recommendations of the nhs pay review body and we a lwa ys of the nhs pay review body and we always will, because that's the right thing to do for nhs staff. let's go back to the nurse in the front row, what you think of what
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you heard? they don't seem to be listening. there's thousands and thousands of nurse positions unfilled. the reason for that is because it's so low paid. it's not a sustainable income. we can't live on it. i have a lot of sympathy... applause with what you're saying. we've had in the public sector, notjust in the nhs, in the last few years, a 1% pay cap. the reason for that has been austerity policies. we've tried to protect jobs been austerity policies. we've tried to protectjobs in the nhs and the wider public sector. when inflation was pretty close to zero, that was one thing. as i said a moment ago, inflation is now writing. i am absolutely clear that that pay freeze, that pay cap is not sustainable moving forward. we need to work with trade unions and negotiate with trade unions for fair pay, not just negotiate with trade unions for fair pay, notjust in the nhs but across the public sector. that i think is the public sector. that i think is the difference between the scottish government under the snp and the westminster government under the
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tories. we listen to what our public sector workers tories. we listen to what our public sector workers are tories. we listen to what our public sector workers are saying and seek to act on what public sector workers are saying because we value those who work in the public sector. we have actually... we have not heard from david coburn. how many years have we had 1%? tell me how many? too many. how many? since about 2008. exactly. there is no pay rise. how do you expect somebody to live on that? we are now having to strike. do you think that's what nurses go into nursing for? i'm telling you now, i would rather leave nursing, as would many of my colleagues, than have to strike. you have no idea how demoralising it is to work within the nhs. don't come on your announced visit, come in in the middle of any data any ward, any a&e department, come in and see what we're up against. my sister works in the national health service... applause
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my... my sister works in the national health service, so believe me, she tells me exactly what she thinks about those matters. but if you listen to me, i'm actually agreeing with you. we've had a really difficult period with public spending. we've had that policy in place. we've also, in scotland, unlike the rest of the uk, had a policy of no compulsory redundancies in the nhs and the wider public sector, to try and protectjobs. that's why there have been many people in the nhs in england who lost theirjobs, people in the nhs in england who lost their jobs, that people in the nhs in england who lost theirjobs, that hasn't happened in scotland. as we seek inflation rising, that policy is no longer sustainable. i accept that. i also think the freeze on benefits is no longer sustainable, because one of the biggest issues in this election campaign that has not been talked about enough is the fact that more and more people are being pushed into poverty. i'm determined that the snp will stem that. the audience are very keen to come in. we'll come to you in a moment david,
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right on the floor here, a gentleman ina blue right on the floor here, a gentleman in a blue shirt. i have asperger syndrome and i live in fife over in dunfermline. 0ne dunfermline. one of the biggest tax dodgers as the, which the tories have given massive tax cuts to allow to continue... i also, i'm also struggling, i've had to go on a mental health waiting list to wait for somebody. i believe that if we could recoup some of these taxes back from the richest of society and we could reinvest it in the nhs, we could hopefully get people back into work, people who have autism and asperger's syndrome like myself, into work and to beat help for
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people. and also, to touch upon the benefits as well, i found it utterly disgraceful having to go to a medical and be asked, disgraceful having to go to a medicaland be asked, have disgraceful having to go to a medical and be asked, have you ever wanted to commit suicide? i feel utterly, i felt utterly demoralised coming out that medical. and after being told i could a £30 cut in my benefits, as well. thank you very much for your contribution. applause i want to take that point. 0ther questions came in from the audience saying, why should we even be talking about tax rises for ordinary people, higher earners, when corporations don't pay their fair share? that's why we need to crack down on this. we are taking more in, they set up a new department within hmrc to try and cut down on it. but the gentleman is absolutely right,
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when it comes to amazon over the water in dunfermline and the subsidy given by the scottish government, when it pays low wages. we need to make sure corporations pay their fair share. it is really tough. they work very hard not to. we are cracking down on it. we are absolutely committed to it. yes, there is more to do but we have made advances and we are taking in a lot more than the previous government did stop pro—why is it then that you have more tax inspectors... taking vulnerable people in society, where as you have less tax inspectors checking the works of amazon, apple and google and all the other companies. i feel that i'm under surveillance 24 hours a day, seven days a week, does that help people's mental health? no, it doesn't. thank you for that. people feel more effort has gone into scrutinising individuals and corporations.
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patrick harvie. it is undeniable that we need more progressive taxation and i think people on an msp salary can afford to pay more tax. the greens have shown we can do that without increasing tax the people on low or average incomes. we can break the basic rate and actually cut the tax belt that people on rowing comes up on, while ensuring wealthy people pay a bit more. we did manage to persuade the snp to scrap a proposed tax break... we managed to persuade them... do you mind? we managed to persuade them to scrap the tax break for higher earners. we will need to push them to go further than that. but it is absolutely about more than just income tax. i have very little sympathy for people who are now arguing that they want a policy for england and wales should have as ex—income tax rates if we are not willing to have progressive taxation here in scotland. it is about more thanjust income. here in scotland. it is about more than just income. the here in scotland. it is about more thanjust income. the gentleman here is absolutely right about corporations. dia ruth davidson say
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they have been racking down on corporation tax, they have been reducing the rate of corporation tax year after year after year, whether it was a labour government, a coalition government or a tory government, that corporate tax contribution has gone down and down and down in a race to the bottom. so we absolutely need to be looking at the wide range of forms of wealth and income inequality if we want to be serious about raising the revenue needed to meet the social need that we all have. every single one of us depends on public services. and if we are not willing to make a contribution to that, a fair contribution, i think we should all be ashamed of ourselves as a society. i think very many people do wa nt society. i think very many people do want to ensure that happens. the uk and scottish governments need to be changing direction to make it happen. ok, thank you for that, patrick. applause nicola sturgeon, you want to specifically address the points raised. this is a westminster election for someone of the biggest responsibilities of westminster
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government is the social security system. the gentleman here hasjust mentioned a policy i think ruth davidson should be asked to justify tonight wasn't disabled people are having £30 a week removed from their benefit. they are having their motability vehicles taken away. disabled people are being dragged to assessments, where they are treated like criminals and asked to justify themselves, all while the tories are proposing even more productions to corporation tax and tax cuts for the richest in our society that it is utterly shameful that the policies of this tory government are driving more disabled people into poverty. i really do think this debate should not enter night without ruth davidson having to defend these outrageous, despicable, cruel and callous policies. cheering and applause ruth davidson. firstly, there are more people on pip than dvla. it has
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more people on pip than dvla. it has more focus on mental issues. nobody is having £30 taken off them... more focus on mental issues. nobody is having £30 taken off them. .. they are losing £30 of week. explain what it is. a different form of benefit to help you with the extra need to have. if you have a physical or mental disability, if it means you can't get yourself to the shops, it helps pay for a taxi to get you very back, for example. more money is being put into... and this is where there is great work being done, closing the disability implement 95p~ closing the disability implement gap. people at this gentleman here say they want to get back into employment but there are barriers into employment. that is why everybody who is getting help with a jobs coach, helping people with their needs, extra money put in help folk do that. we wanted close that implement gap. people are having their motability taken implement gap. people are having their motability ta ken away. implement gap. people are having their motability taken away. 700,000 more being issued than 2010, that is true. —— 70,000 more than there were in 2010. 800 people a week getting
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them taken away don't exist stubbornly there are more than there we re stubbornly there are more than there were before. what we're trying to do is ensure there is a big gap right now between people who have disabilities and employees feel they are,| disabilities and employees feel they are, i don't know if it's scared or they don't feel confident enough to support them, whether people don't have access, we are investing money to make sure we have that disability implement gap, so we can try and get people to have the dignity of a job, because they want to be independent, they want to work i don't think that's a bad thing. we are coming to woods into the programme and we don't have time to get into new issues. we have time to get into new issues. modern governments have discovered if they put reasonable taxes on people they simply move and take their talent with them. i would say it would be very, very bad, appalling for scotland, if our taxes in scotland were higher than those in the rest of the uk, we would simply be uncompetitive. i don't wa nt simply be uncompetitive. i don't want to see the happen. but on the
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other hand the committee on the european parliament which sounds luxurious and fun, it is about looking into shady places where corporations stack their money. believe you me, i've heard a few interesting tales and i think there should be some serious looking into that department and that is not being done, thanks to the tories. again, if we have highertaxes, taxes in scotland you can forget about being competitive, we need people in scotland working to build their businesses and making sure they employ their fellow scots. that said, david coburn, thank you. i'm afraid that is all we have time for. thank you to our panel and politicians forjoining thank you to our panel and politicians for joining us thank you to our panel and politicians forjoining us tonight and to our audience in edinburgh. before the end of the programme let's get reaction from jackie and her guests in the press room. thank you, if you thought the debate in the hall was pretty impassioned it is pretty intense here too. was a people here are filing the stories you will read tomorrow. let's meet a
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trio who have had plenty to say over the last 90 minutes. we have the political editor of the daily record david clegg, the author and columnist david torrance and the editor of the national. what do you think of the dynamic tonight, david? the dynamic started being between nicola sturgeon and ruth davidson which is a change, usually these debates in previous years are between the snp and labour party but this time it's clearly between the snp and conservatives. the most memorable moment of the night certainly was the nurse who really gave nicola sturgeon a much more difficult time than any of the politicians did on the panel tonight, the nurse talked about not being able to afford food on the salary of a nurse, and really brought the point home over quite an extended period. i've never seen nicola sturgeon looks so uncomfortable on television before. david torrance, that's what is so good about debates like this because you don't know what is going to happen and often something very nuanced and personal can turn it.
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and all the more effective as david says, coming from somebody in the audience as opposed to another party leader. it also shows you how jumbled up different policy responsibilities get in elections these days. in the era of devolution people no longer differentiate adequately between devolved responsibilities like health and education and reserved issues, which is after all what uk general election is supposed to be about. it all gets bundled up into the same mix. perhaps we shouldn't even bother trying in this context, because it doesn't seem that voters do. who do you think performed best, richard? nicola sturgeon performed best but certainly she was a clear winner in the first half. do you feel she was under pressure, from most notably the nurse in the audience? i think those were difficult questions, she's faced difficult questions, she's faced difficult questions, she's faced difficult questions about nurses' pay and education and in education
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she accepted responsibility and said she's dealing with it, both of those issues are devolved issues and it's perfectly fair to discuss them but they are not the issues we are voting onjust now and it should be pointed out that another main issues for this election. there are other issues that should have been discussed as well but the labour party in particular were more concerned with the snp's record as government in holyrood rather than austerity policies to do with the tories in westminster.” austerity policies to do with the tories in westminster. i have to hurry you, we are heading towards the end of the programme. that is what the journalists think, a quick word from the scottish conservatives and the snp. to be a fly on the war at this table. your leaders, as i think we have gathered here, have dominated the debate tonight. —— fly on the wall. ruth davidson can't really escape the fact she was a remainer and she has had to defend brexit. that's democracy, the people of the united kingdom voted to leave the eu, the important thing is how
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to get the best possible deal. that is achieved by the scottish government working together with the uk government. the problem is the scottish government has no interest in getting a good dealfor the uk, they want to use this to engineer a second independence referendum, that's what this referendum, election is about and nicola sturgeon made it clear, every vote foran snp sturgeon made it clear, every vote for an snp candidate in this election is a vote for a second independence referendum. joanna cherry, what about the plea from the member of the audience and her statement to nicola sturgeon, don't come on your announced visits? how did she react to that? did she react well? did she rebut what she was accused of cosmic she explained to the nurse that under the snp scottish government in scotland they have done more to protectjobs in the nhs than anywhere else in the uk. even the bbc says the nhs in scotland is run better than in england and wales. the unfortunate truth is if the lady in the audience lived in england or wales she would have worse pay and conditions. the real story tonight is that ruth
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davidson this evening, the mask has slipped, when she is put under scrutiny about the real issues in this election, the record of the tory party in london, she goes to pieces. she was unable to defend brexit this evening, she received a lecture on the audience and nicola sturgeon on the benefits of immigration and went to pieces when called upon to defend the tories' toxic policies on pensioners.” called upon to defend the tories' toxic policies on pensioners. i will have to stop you there. thank you. we can talk to another couple of journalists. the scotland editor of the guardian and lindsay from the press association. we've spoken a lot to write about the four main parties. what about ukip and the greens? —— we've spoken about tonight. what was their influence if anything? david coburn is very much anything? david coburn is very much a bystander in this election and on this occasion it's one of the few moments he will have in the limelight to make any attempt to interject ukip into this particular election. are not clear he had any success , election. are not clear he had any success, he was the person shouting from the fringes. patrick harvie is
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a more experienced performer, he's used to performing at first minister's questions and is a seasoned campaigner and is much more able to present a much more rational focused party position for the scottish green party. they really didn't get to contribute a whole what. it was really all about nicola sturgeon versus ruth davidson, particularly at the start on brexit and the independence referendum, kezia dugdale coming in strong on education and health. willie rennie, a few cheers for him on his brexit sta nce a few cheers for him on his brexit stance and a few cheers for him on issues like mental health and education as well. thank you. let's tuk—tuk two of our politicians, very animated, jackie baillie, during the debate tonight. what about kezia dugdale's impact —— let's talk to two of our politicians. did we learn any more about labour party policy over the last 90 minutes? we
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absolutely did and what we heard strongly from kezia dugdale was a com plete strongly from kezia dugdale was a complete rejection of a second device of independence referendum, that came across very cruelly but in addition to that —— clearly. the focus on the economy and jobs and investing in the nhs was interesting. what we heard tonight from the audience was the real lived experience of teachers talking about failing standards, of nurses talking about having to use food banks. that exposed the record of the snp and indeed the tories who remain the party of austerity in the united kingdom, and frankly i think this election has to be about more than the constitution. it doesn't surprise me the snp and tories just wa nt to surprise me the snp and tories just want to talk about the constitution, because it saves any focus on their failing policies. did any of willie rennie's points hit home? absolutely, i'm a proud man tonight, he was pitch perfect on our core message, which makes us distinct on this election, which is we want scotland at the heart of the uk and
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the uk strong at the heart of europe. he carried the room on things like the brexit deal referendum question and particularly the lack of investment in mental health and the snp's failure to address education problems in our education system in scotland.” think we are going to be joined education system in scotland.” think we are going to bejoined by our political editor brian taylor who is hotfooting it from our other press room. there you are. the people who have spoken to the politicians say that their man or woman did well. in your view who is going home happiest? the sharpest debates were on issues that are devolved to holyrood, which is nowadays income tax and education, struck by the battles also between ruth davidson and nicola sturgeon and also with kezia dugdale over who stands up best for scotland. i was struck on another point to bear in mind right at the beginning, we had a strategy from the conservatives saying last year in the holyrood elections they can form the opposition, willie rennie saying
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that at this election they can form the opposition in westminster. we now have kezia dugdalejoining the opposition in westminster. we now have kezia dugdale joining the list in effect. she said if the polls are right the tories are winning and she says she wants a labour government but in reality seemed to concede it was extremely unlikely, and therefore positing herself as being the party that would stand up most vigorously against the conservatives. that is an intriguing element in this contest. we have andrew nickell of the sun, filing your copy for tomorrow, if i can interrupt you. what is your topline? the nurse is the big story, i would love to know who she is and more about her. it's disappointing this is not a westminster issue being discussed, thatis westminster issue being discussed, that is what will hit home with people watching tv at home. do you think we learned anything you tonight? no, i don't think we did. laughter consensus breaks out in the press room. that doesn't happen... let's
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end tonight with the final word from sarah smith. come over and join me, you've emerged from the heat of the debate, how would you sum it up? it's interesting people saying we we re it's interesting people saying we were discussing issues that are devolved, we are but the issues the audience wanted to talk about that they sent the most questions in about and the way the scottish government has performed does inform how people are going to vote, people ca re how people are going to vote, people care passionately about education, health and how the snp have done over the last ten years and that will make a difference even if it shouldn't because they are devolved issues. on the things like brexit which are of course westminster‘s responsibility, we saw the sharp dividing line is, nicola sturgeon keen to tell us that a vote for the snp will put a strong scottish voice into the negotiations, with the other parties disagreeing. we saw the different positions, ruth davidson was uncomfortable being reminded of her remainer past now she is supporting theresa may's version of brexit but i agree with some of your other commentators, it was the audience who were the stars tonight with their questions. what a
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passion in the audience so that they will be reflected in the weeks to come, do you think? it could be and it's so much harderfor the politicians to bat off a question from somebody who has real life experience and passionately cares about it like that. they can ignore me as much as they like and they quite often do but they can't ignore a nurse or a man worried about his benefits in the front row telling them what life is like out there. that is why the election matters because these policies change people's lives. the politicians say they want to hear from real people but that can be a blessing and sometimes occurs. occasionally on the campaign trail they afford them as much as possible. we have a couple of weeks to go, thank you to sarah. that is all we have time for tonight. thank you forjoining us in edinburgh for the bbc scotland leaders debate 2017. this is bbc world news today. our top stories. president trump calls on muslim nations to take the lead in combating terror as he makes
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a keynote address in saudi arabia. drive out the extremists. drive them out, drive them out of your holy land. mr trump also accuses iran of fuelling sectarian conflict and terror across the region. in other news. south korea's new government says the latest missile test by north korea has dashed its hopes of forging peace with its neighbour. although, the summit of achievement, the woman who climbed to the top of mount everest twice in one week. we will talk to her husband.
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